Hillary defends US actions in Haiti
Just because I've disagreed with Hillary Rodham Clinton in the past doesn't mean I discount everything she says. And when she's right, she is so totally right as she is here countering those critics of America, especially leftist ones in South America, who trade in the tragedy of Haiti for their own glorification.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she "deeply resents" foreign criticism of the US response to the earthquake in Haiti, saying the United States was doing as much as it could.
"I deeply resent those who attack our country, the generosity of our people and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake," Clinton told State Department employees at a forum marking one year in office.
Clinton did not single out critics but said that "some of the international press either misunderstood or deliberately misconstrued" the US decision to send thousands of troops to Haiti.
The United States needed to send both troops and civilians "to deliver aid to the Haitians who desperately needed it," Clinton said.
"We're scrambling as quick as we could to do everything we needed in the past two weeks," she said.
She pointed to the response as a model for the future, saying that the United States should be ready to fight against allegations it sees as unfair.
"I have absolutely no argument with anyone lodging a legitimate criticism against our country. I think we can learn from that and we are foolish if we keep our head in the sand and pretend we can't," she said.
"What we're asking for is that people view us fairly," she said.
And so, although this country's Armed Forces and a variety of aid groups certainly do have multiple contingency plans for any variety of emergencies, an emergency, as defined by its name and nature, cannot go according to plan. Obviously mistakes were made, obviously, in hindsight, certain aspects should have been handled differently. But overall the situation in Haiti is better because of the magnificent US response, both public and private. Other countries acted with varying degrees of nobility also; they too deserve humanity's thanks.
Meanwhile, neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the same island with Haiti but not much else, has generously sent relief supplies but, according to Fred Grimm of the Miami Herald,
In December, the Dominican congress approved a constitutional amendment clearly aimed at its 800,000 residents of Haitian descent. When the amendment is finalized, the children of illegal immigrants born in the D.R. will no longer be classified as citizens. Varma said the denial of citizenship not only applies to children of illegal immigrants, but also to subsequent generations. Most ethnic Haitian newborns were already recorded in the D.R.'s so-called ``Book of Foreigners,'' and given a pink birth certificate, rather than the one offered to children from Hispanic families.
(Imagine the shrieks of racism and more if the US even attempted this against its illegal aliens.)
Were there too many US officers but no real leader in Haiti as charged by a "senior Italian official"? Maybe. But where was the UN in all this? And what about the non existent Haitian government? While the UN has spent the last 40 years or so ritually condemning the US and Israel they've virtually ignored the horrors that existed in Haiti prior to the earthquake, not to mention Darfur, Somalia and other countries around the world. Why wasn't the UN better prepared for something like this?
Meanwhile the incompetents criticize the US for its work in Haiti, the great ones help the Haitians.